Ever found the perfect thing to say, the appropriate response, the lesson in the trial – too late? Ever wished you could just swish swish a magic wand over the whole thing and get a do-over?
I’ve written about regret before, but that’s not what I’m talking about, though I suppose there’s an element of wanting a do-over with regret. There are many things I regret in my past, but not all of them I wish I could re-live. Once was enough thank you very much. I regret not spending more time with my grandmother – but I did spend a lot of time with her, how often would be enough? I regret most of my sports injuries – but they were generally a freak accident – what if the do-over made it worse? I regret certain broken relationships with guys, but I see how those relationships helped me find the good relationship I have now.
I’m talking about moments in life where you acted on the best information you had at the time, and later found it was wrong. If you’d had all the information you would have made a different decision (and maybe made all new mistakes). These moments come in all shapes and sizes. I want a do-over for the moment I accidentally hit the garage wall with my car (sorry, Dad). I want a do-over for the moment my kids talked me into impulsively buying two Guinea Pigs – not that I hate the little furry balls, but that situation hasn’t turned out the way I’d envisioned it would. I want a do-over for the moment I decided to follow friends across a busy four lane road on my bike and got hit by a car (I’ve hated bikes ever since).
I want do-overs for the times I was too busy to see the disappointment on my kids’ faces, because now I know what that looks like, and what it means. I want do-overs for all the times I cried at night over a specific situation and was too ashamed to tell anyone or ask for help.
Wishing for a magic do-over stick won’t make one appear though. We just have to keep on keeping on, and take what we’ve learned and make better, more informed, decisions in the future.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana – Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1
So – if I waved a magic do-over stick over the moment in time, the season – the moment, you’d like to fix, prevent, or change based on information or lessons you didn’t know at the time, what would you do differently?
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